K voprosu ob istochnikakh siuzheta romana Dvenadtsat' stul'ev

Victor Zatsepin


On a Possible Film Source for the Novel The Twelve Chairs

The aim of this article is to evaluate a possible connection between the early German comedy Das Kriegssofa (Willy Karfiol, 1914, Germany) and the plot of the Soviet novel The Twelve Chairs by Il’ia Il’f and Evgenii Petrov. Das Kriegssofa is a story of valuables hidden in a piece of furniture and then lost. The article’s main hypothesis is that Valentin Kataev, who we know provided the plot for the novel, could have watched the film and later told Il’f and Petrov about it. From a wider perspective, the article aims to highlight the experience of cinema-going in pre-revolutionary Russia. Kataev was an ardent cinephile and admitted that this had a major impact on his early writings.   


Valentin Kataev; Evgeny Petrov; Il’ia Il’f; German silent film; silent comedy; First World War; The Twelve Chairs; film propaganda; Willy Karfiol

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.17892/app.2017.0004.23

Apparatus. ISSN 2365-7758